I’ve said before that I’ve never really understood the appeal of Dolce & Gabbana house model David Gandy. But then, this morning I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the new coffee table tome that is David Gandy by Dolce & Gabbana and even I have been won over. It is, in all fairness, an astonishing book. But it’s more than that – it’s also an astonishing historical document, providing a vivid and provocative (mostly nude or semi-nude) snapshot of the modern male.
Flick through this lavish oversized piece of adporn and you’re instantly reminded how complex and confusing that man is: rugged and honed yet soft and gentle; tough yet sensitive; straight but very, very gay; absolutely available but utterly aloof. We hear so much about modern women wanting it all yet these images reveal that men’s desire to be and have everything is just as strong.
Next to Beckham, of course, Gandy is the ultimate face of modern, multi-faceted masculinity. His ad campaign for Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue (a fragrance now celebrating its tenth anniversary) is one of the few truly iconic campaigns of in the last twenty years and is a testement not just to Gandy’s forceful good looks but Dolce & Gabbana’s foresight in seeing his potential as a contemporary icon.
Whilst other fragrances scramble around to find a face – any face – to front their campaigns (Jared Leto anyone?) Dolce & Gabbana hit on a man who’s a true blank canvas for the fantasies of both men and women. The funny thing is that Light Blue itself is merely an okay scent, not an amazing or revolutionary one. This book, then, photographic foreplay though it is, is undisputable proof that sometimes it’s the face (and pecs and buttocks and thighs) that matters anyway, not the fragrance.
David Gandy by Dolce & Gabbana is available from Dolce & Gabbana boutiques worldwide. Here are a few images to whet your appetite.